#FSCfriday2021 – Save our Forests. Save our Climate

What solutions will COP26 bring to the climate change debate? The world waits with bated breath as the international score card will be completed on signatories’ progress in achieving their climate change goals.

As the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and its supporters celebrate its international name day, FSC Friday, on 24 September, FSC reconfirms its support for international climate change initiatives and highlights the important contribution responsible forestry makes to these efforts.

Forests play an essential role in climate regulation. Together with oceans, forests are the key ecosys-tems the planet uses to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) – the most important greenhouse gas – from the atmosphere. Nearly 2.6 billion tonnes, or one-third of all CO2 released from fossil fuels are absorbed by forests every year. Even with forestry operations and processing, forests function as net-removers of CO2. 1 The Paris Agreement (COP 21) highlighted the importance of forests in responding to climate change calling on all countries to conserve carbon sinks in forests.

Bearing in mind an average hardwood tree can store as much as 21kgs of CO2 every year, forests’ role in helping stabilise the climate cannot be overstated. Halting the loss and degradation of natural systems such as forests, and promoting their restoration, have the potential to contribute over one-third of efforts to mitigate climate change. In addition, 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their livelihood, forest products accounts for US$ 244 billion in international trade.1 Forests are also home to 80 per cent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.

What role does FSC play in the fight against climate change?

FSC is a nature-based solution for sustainable forest management, including biodiversity protection, nature conservation and forest landscape restoration.

FSC’s standards play an important role in maintaining forest cover, preventing deforestation and forest degradation, which are vital elements in the global climate change agenda to prevent the planet passing the 1,50C temperature increase (danger point) for dangerous climate change.

FSC believes in the importance of nurturing responsible forestry to protect healthy and resilient forests that sustain life on earth. Therefore it designed FSC-specific ecosystem services claims. Showing the full value of forest ecosystems by measuring the full impact of excellent forest management practices and fostering partnerships that reward them, is fundamental to climate action and sustainability. Eco-system services claims provide nature-based information through the measurement of impacts such as carbon sequestration and storage, biodiversity conservation, watershed services, soil conservation and recreational services.

Success stories of our ecosystem services programme

FSC believes markets should work for the ecosystems they are part of, and the ecosystem services claims are the tool to show the true value of forests to markets. With them, FSC connects forest stewards and committed stakeholders fostering partnerships that promote the protection of ecosystems.

There are a growing number of related success stories. For example, in China, Shunchang, a state-owned forest farm located in China’s southeast, becomes the first forest farm in China to adopt the FSC’s Ecosystem Services Procedure to verify its positive impacts on the environment. With the help of this new procedure, this plantation forest, the size of 23,000 football fields, has been able to make its impacts on watersheds, carbon and biodiversity both visible and quantifiable. Read More →

A small village inside Shunchang forest farm. Photo: ©FSC China
Forest on the watershed of the Ratah River. Photo: Bantista Adies Kuncahy

In Indonesia, PT. Ratah Timber, an FSC certificate holder was officially verified for the Biodiversity Conservation portion of its FSC Ecosystem Services claim. Located in East Kalimantan on Borneo Island, the company first obtained permission for a forest concession in 1970. They currently hold a forest concession of around 94,425 hectares, of which 86,270 have been certified to FSC FM and CoC standards, with 7,155 hectares being used for social activities implemented by local communities, and not within the scope of FSC certification. The site has an area with a core conservation function with high conservation value (HCV) that supports the conservation of biodiversity, including rare and threat-ened terrestrial mammals and bird species. Read More →

Join us in celebrating FSC Friday and continue to support forestry as a nature-based solution to climate change. We have a series of content for you to share, as well as our daily posts for the week of 20 September as we build up to FSC Friday on the 24 September.

Happy #FSCfriday2021 #ForestsForAllForever #ChooseFSC

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